Dominic Raab could lose seat in shock election ‘Portillo moment’, says new poll

Posted On: 
1st December 2019

Dominic Raab has a fight on his hands to save his seat after a shock new poll puts him at risk of being kicked out of Parliament by tactical voting.

Dominic Raab could be in danger of losing his seat on election night
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The Foreign Secretary has a huge majority in his Surrey constituency but is now at risk of providing this election’s “Portillo moment”.

A survey by DeltaPoll puts him on 46% with the Liberal Democrat candidate Monica Harding on 41% - a lead of just 5%.

The gap in Esher and Walton at the last election in 2017 was almost 40%, and it has always elected a Conservative MP since its creation.

But crucially the poll this time around has the Labour challenger Peter Ashurst on 9%, meaning if his supporters were to vote tactically and switch support to the Lib Dems, Mr Raab could be defeated.

The leading pollster Peter Kellner, a former president of YouGov, wrote in the Observer: “It’s possible, then, that Esher will provide the 'Portillo moment' on election night – the defeat of a high-profile cabinet minister on a huge swing.”

He said of Mr Raab’s chances: “His 23,298 majority in Esher and Walton at the last general election was one of the largest in Britain.

“In normal times, defeat would be unthinkable.

“Yet he now faces a pincer movement, with Labour supporters switching tactically to Monica Harding, the Liberal Democrat candidate, and almost half of the 12,000 Remain voters who backed Raab two years ago now plan to desert the foreign secretary.”

It comes as a series of nationwide opinion polls all see the Conservatives maintain a lead over Jeremy Corbyn’s party, but the figures range from the Tories being just six points ahead to a whopping 15.

A BMG survey sees Labour up 5% to 33%, while the Tories slip 2% to 39%, increasing the chances of a hung parliament.

But Opinium, who also spoke to voters between 27 and 29 November, puts Boris Johnson’s party on 46%, while Labour languish on 31%, despite being up three points since the firm’s last poll.

If that scenario was replicated on election night it would see the Prime Minister returned to Number 10 with a sizeable majority in the House of Commons.